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February 28, 11:00 AM ET
Chat with AJ Mass

AJ Mass
  (10:59 AM)

Good morning. It's the last day of February -- where did the month go? We'll be here for the next 60 minutes to discuss the world of fantasy sports, NCAA bubbles, Bob Hope holograms... whatever. Second cup of coffee in hand... who is up first?

Kurt (DC)

Does the knee issue with Utley move him down the board? I so by how much? Cheers

AJ Mass
  (11:01 AM)

I don't think it moves him just yet... especially because I personally factored in about 20 missed games in my assessment. This may flare up throughout the season, and he may miss a game here or a game there -- but I'm not thinking this is a season-threatener.

Stan (Nebraska)

How far are you willing to reach for Jose Bautista?

AJ Mass
  (11:02 AM)

I think you pay for 35 HR, but not 54. So, if he's there in Round 3 and a lot of power has gone off the board, that's where I am taking him.

Kendall (Peoria)

Ryan Theriot a decent SS in NL only?

AJ Mass
  (11:04 AM)

Short is shallow, though far moreso in the AL... I think Theriot could get you 20 SB, but that's about it.

Eric (ON)

How much do you value multi-position eligibility? For example, I see Prado ranked below Weeks and Phillips most places, but I think if he's eligible at 2B, 3B and soon OF, that should push him higher than them, no?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Certainly, flexibility is an asset, but in Prado's case, he's got no speed and I'm not buying the power -- so that makes the odds of me playing him at OF or 3B far less likely than at 2B.

Steve (DC)

Bigger contract year "bump" -- Albert Pujols or Jose Reyes?

AJ Mass
  (11:06 AM)

Albert will be Albert... Jose scares me.

Joe (Tampa)

Is Dusty Baker seriously considering Jay Bruce at leadoff?!! Please say it ain't so.

AJ Mass
  (11:08 AM)

I think it will end up being Phillips. Don't worry too much about lineup moves in the first week of the spring...

Andy (Syracuse, NY)

To feed of Joe from Tampa's question on Jay Brue, how would this all effet Stubbs value?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

Stubbs is not leading off because he strikes out too much and won't get on-base there. Hurts his steals upside.

Short Sighted (PA)

Pick your poison - Reyes, Rollins, Elvis, A. A.Ramirez?

AJ Mass
  (11:09 AM)

For me, I'd go with Alexei.

David (Los Angeles)

Love the chats, AJ ! Need to keep one. Pagan, Gardner or Fowler.Thanks !

AJ Mass
  (11:10 AM)

Pagan... wouldn't even give it a second thought.

Scott (Ann Arbor)

How much do you devalue SP in a weekly H2H points league?

AJ Mass
  (11:12 AM)

The problem with pitching is that you may get one start, you may get two starts... it varies so much, whereas starting hitters are going to (generally speaking) get 20-25 ABs week in, week out. So, while the best of the best still merit being drafted, you have to take care of the hitters first.

Mike (Milwaukee)

Hi AJ...quick SP rank...Lester, Verlander Kershaw

AJ Mass
  (11:13 AM)

I've gone on record that Verlander is my Cy pick, so I'll go Justin, Jon, Clayton.

Ryan (Charleston, SC)

Would you keep Cliff Lee or Justin Upton at 3rd round value?

AJ Mass
  (11:14 AM)

Lee for me. WHIP and Wins should be worth it.

Mark (TN)

I know a lot of experts are down on J Reyes. But, my 12 team league allows us to keep 5 players. In that scenario, isn't Reyes a definite keeper?

AJ Mass
  (11:16 AM)

SS is not deep, so yes, if you already have him, you keep him. My concern is that he might end up with more RBIs than steals -- around 50 -- and that wouldn't be a good thing.

Rob (Pa.)

AJ, Whats your take on Ivan Nova?

AJ Mass
  (11:18 AM)

With two spots open, I find it hard to believe he won't be in the rotation and the Yankees have the bats to give him the wins if he can last 5.

Nick (Seattle)

Not to get too worried about spring training injuries on the first day, but I didn't get to hear much or see Stanton go down. How bad of a quad injury does it look like?

AJ Mass
  (11:19 AM)

Expect him to miss a week, but I don't think it's too much to worry about. Pulling up on day one is going to happen, given the lack of going "all out" for several months.

Mike (Concord,NH)

AJ, starting a new keeper league this year with 11 guys. I am picking third in the draft, and kind of new at this keeper thing. In your opinion, who is the best guy to grab at number 3 from a keeper perspective? Thanks!

AJ Mass
  (11:21 AM)

I say you don't worry about the keeper aspect and draft "normally." Now if you want to go young with your last few bench spots, that's fine -- but there's so much that can happen from year-to-year that I'd rather win today and let tomorrow work itself out then.

Nick (Dayton, OH)

Who has the better value this year and in the future between Dominic Brown and Jennings?

AJ Mass
  (11:22 AM)

Brown this year. I think he ends up getting around 75 percent of the RF time when all is said and done. Jennings' services, thanks to Manny and Johnny Caveman, will not be required out of the gate, if at all.

Big Tunn (NOLA)

Why is Josh Johnson not getting any respect?

AJ Mass
  (11:23 AM)

It's not a lack of respect -- it's a fear of him "Wainwrighting" that has his value slightly depressed. Personally, I have him as SP14.

Brian (PDX)

Is there a thorough league constitution out there that you can recommend?

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM) ESPN Draft Kit has something for everyone!

AJ Mass
  (11:24 AM) ESPN Draft Kit has something for everyone!

Joey (Brooklyn)

Which guy moving from the AL to the NL has the better year, Matt Garza or Shaun Marcum? Thanks.

AJ Mass
  (11:26 AM)

Much higher on Marcum am I. (Sounding like Yoda I am. Why I know not.) Both should get a "leaving the AL East boost" and I liked Marcum more before the league switches.

Nick (Atlanta)

What are your thoughts on Brandon Webb? He seems to have survived his light bullpen session somewhat intact.

AJ Mass
  (11:27 AM)

I'd like to see "live action" pitching before getting too excited... given the choice of a late round gamble, I'm sticking with Peavy over Webb.

Mike (Chi-town)

Bedard - encouraging sign yesterday right that he was able to go out and perform with no issues? If he could only pitch 1 inning per start and qualify for a win - lol.

AJ Mass
  (11:29 AM)

Bedard can use all the good news he can get. Definitely not going to personally jump through hoops after 8 pitches, but let's face it -- all it takes is one pitch to send him back to the DL, so the more times he lives to fight another day, the better you have to feel about him.

Steve (ND)

Do you let the flow of the draft dictate when you pick, such as when there is a run on a particular position?

AJ Mass
  (11:31 AM)

Go into a draft prepared with your own values/ranks/tiers. Then stick with them. If there is a run at a certain position, but there are still several players left in the same tier, then go elsewhere. But don't overvalue the #8 C just because two other owners just overvalued #6 and #7.

Michael (Milwaukee)

Where would you pick Cabrera at this point? Top 5 still?

AJ Mass
  (11:33 AM)

I have him at 5, and while I may pass over him, given the problems, for Han Ram or Cano, if I am picking 8 or 9, I'm not letting him pass me by.

chico (seattle)

Are you the type of guy to draft a pitcher in the 1st or 2nd round?? Personally, I think about all of those tweaked elbows and shoulders, and how the injuries are generally 1) less predictable and 2) more devastating, and I always decide to choose hitters instead.

AJ Mass
  (11:35 AM)

And Albert Pujols could break his arm on Opening Day too... injuries happen. I'm not generally an early SP drafter anyway -- though I make an exception for Halladay this season. But I'm not getting unnecessarily gunshy.

Jake (Nebraska)

In a standard espn league, how does your bench look: 3 pitchers, 3 position players, or a mix?

AJ Mass
  (11:36 AM)

More often than not, I go with the position players over the pitchers, since there are always quality arms on the waiver wire in April.

Jacob (Tampa)

What are you expecting from Hamels this year? Does he get a bump since he will be facing #3 or 4 starters?

AJ Mass
  (11:38 AM)

All it takes is a rainout here or there, and he's suddenly facing No. 1 guys again. I don't think you adjust him any due to the place in the rotation. He either performs well and gets run support, or he doesn't.

Brandon (IN)

Thanks for the chats. I am trying to convince my league to switch from Wins to Quality Starts. Have any advice on how to convince them why this is the better choice? They are not very receptive so far

AJ Mass
  (11:39 AM)

Pitcher A gives up 7 runs in 5 innings and gets a win, 9-7. Pitcher B gives up one unearned run over 9 and loses 1-0. Which pitcher did better? Shouldn't that pitcher be the one that is rewarded? --- if they don't buy into this argument, they're just not going to...

Philip (Richmond)

Hey AJ! What are the differences between Ichiro and Nishioka coming out of Japan? Nishi will be one year younger than Ichiro when he debuts...

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

Hard to say how a Japanese player will transition... the game is so different. I must admit to not seeing much of Nishioka previously, so I'm as much int he dark as anyone else.

J (Boston)

Would you keep J Upton over Choo this year in a 19 team mixed 5x5?

AJ Mass
  (11:42 AM)

I think Choo can be a top-20 player this season, so I'm sticking with Shin-Soo.

Brian (NYC)

Konerko, discuss please...could keep him as a 23rd rounder

AJ Mass
  (11:44 AM)

A steal. We're talking about a guy who *could* well lead the league in HR if he stays even moderately healthy. Not saying he will, but for Round 23? Why not?

Braine (KS)

Matt Holliday 30 HR 110 RBI guy?

AJ Mass
  (11:46 AM)

Perhaps high on the RBI, but certainly you throw in a .310 average and there's a reason he's at worst an early second rounder.

Adam (Delaware)

Guy offered me Howard and Carlos Gonzalez for Longoria and McCutchen. This is a 10 team keeper league, seems a little steep to me. Do you agree?

AJ Mass
  (11:48 AM)

I'd pass as well. Thinking Howard has a down year, and Evan has more value at 3B than Ryan at 1B anyway.

Gary (Omaha)

Who gets the majority of saves in Tampa? Farnsworth? McGee? Someone else?

AJ Mass
  (11:49 AM)

I don't think Maddon knows just yet. He's probably going to go with whomever has a hot hand in the spring, and even then might rotate. If I had to bet, I'd say that Farnsworth gets first dibs...

Braine (KS)

Do I keep Corey Hart or Aubrey Huff?

AJ Mass
  (11:50 AM)

I'd keep Corey for the upside -- plus worried that Huff ends up getting a little lost if Belt makes the team.

Dave (Longmont)

crawford meet expectations, exceed, or slip?

AJ Mass
  (11:51 AM)

Depends on your expectations, no? Personally, I'm expecting similar numbers to last year, but not higher.

Lance (NC)

Matt Wieters.....finally breaks through?

AJ Mass
  (11:52 AM)

I'm not holding my breath. Certainly, there's enough in that lineup right now that he shouldn't feel any pressure to do anything more than handle the staff, and that may end up relaxing him enough to swing the bat better...

Michael (Milwaukee)

Does McCutchen have the talent to be this year's Cargo?

AJ Mass
  (11:53 AM)

He's definitely got talent, but I think he'd need to play at Coors to reach CarGo's 2010 level - that was a season for the ages.

Bobby (NJ)

AJ, where do you see Joe Mauer's stock? Last year he was a 2nd rounder in my league, I'm guessing it's down this year?

AJ Mass
  (11:55 AM)

He's still No. 1 catcher by a country mile... but last year you probably had to overpay because of the inflated 2009 HR totals. That's not happening again, and I'm not taking any catcher before the 7th Round.

Jerry (Boston)

Grady Sizemore 20/20?

AJ Mass
  (11:57 AM)

I don't think he gets 20 SB. Knees are not parts of the body in which I have confidence in a full rebound.

charlie brown (Hawaii)

Your advice on not keeping Upton in a keeper league will come back to bite you in the behind this year. In an h2h league I have him as a 12th ro0und keeper. It would be ludicrous to drop him at that point. And by the way, h2h leagues are coming into vogue and soon they will dominate over roto leagues. Aloha!

AJ Mass
  (11:59 AM)

I never said I wouldn't keep Upton as a 12th Round pick... only that I like Cliff Lee and Shin-Soo Choo better. Talk about seeing what you want to see! It's like if I say I like Braun over Votto, and you suddenly extrapolate that to "AJ hates Votto" -- You're better than that, CB!

Justin (Boston)

Do you take Santana before Mccann in a keeper league?

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

I do -- not high on McCann this year.

AJ Mass
  (12:00 PM)

Noon has nooned, so off we go. We'll be back on Friday, and of course, I have the Twitter thing going if you can't wait that long. Until then, good luck and may the odds be EVER in your favor!